have we got him his diptets, honey

5/10/09

Okay, so, the quick story of how I spent last night in the St. John’s emergency room: one of the things I’m doing for Tessa’s birthday is “reducing the amount of chaos in her life.”

Wait, I didn’t see the irony in that sentence until now. Let me start over.

In order to make our humble bungalow a little less chaotic, I took down all the loose, jumbled cork squares that were holding up a million pictures, prescriptions and receipts, and replaced it with a clean system of dry erase boards, linen pinboards, an Important Mail slot, and even a digital picture frame that’ll show a bunch of different images (instead of printing all of them out).

But we still love paper photos and various effluvia, so I decided to make our bathroom door magnetic, thus getting rid of all the tape and mounting squares that screw everything up. So I got a roll of sheet metal about 6 feet by 2 feet, and was measuring it against the door, when Lucy got out of the bath and wanted to tackle me as usual.

I told her to stand about fifteen feet away, while I put the sheet metal down. Instead, the damn thing coiled up, snapped over my shoulder and came down behind me, slicing straight into my calf. I knew in about a half-second something was terribly wrong – about a half-pint of blood was already on the floor, all over my shoes and splattered on the bottom of the stove.

My immediate thought: SHIT! I’ve hit an artery. I yelled for Tessa to call 911 and to bring a small towel, and limped backwards to lie down and raise my leg over my heart. My wife, as many of you know, is not terribly fond of blood – which was now everywhere – but she was there in seconds. I tied the towel tight around my calf and gave directions as best I could.

Here is the mind of ADD at work, and I hope some of you can relate: within five seconds I knew I was bound for the emergency room, I knew the emergency room meant at least four hours of time, and I called out for my cell phone and a backup battery, because I have Scrabble and email on it. I do not fear losing my foot, I do not fear pain, I fear boredom.

Ah, but my poor Lulubeans. She stood there screaming in shock, and I kept on trying to use my most boring airplane-captain-during-turbulence voice, saying everything was totally okay and normal. She was having none of it; it’s hard to listen to reason when your Daddo is lying in a blood-spattered crime scene, twisting a tourniquet made from a formerly-white burp cloth and a metal spatula.

The firemen and paramedics were in my kitchen within seven minutes and praised my spatula tourniquet, carting me off to the ambulance as I kept yelling to Lucy “all is well! Everything is fine!” like Kevin Bacon in Animal House. Once we were on the road, and they had all my vitals, I noticed I was clutching my iPhone, and took a picture.

IanAmbulanceIP(bl).jpg

I also saw the Facebook app, and thought it might be a nice update. So I typed it in, and wow… if you ever think you’re alone in this world, update your Facebook status. I have a friend who went from “Married” to “It’s Complicated” a few weeks ago, and it sent the eastern seaboard into a tizzy. As for me, THANK YOU FACEBOOK FOLKS for all your wonderful notes. I’ve always been careful about updates because I don’t want to bore anybody, but perhaps some tweets have the opposite problem.

Two things had to happen at the hospital: stitches and a tetanus shot. The lignocaine shots you get before the stitches? UNBELIEVABLE. I’m pretty impervious to shots, but these were dementedly tortuous. And isn’t there something, I dunno, barbaric about the concept of stitching your skin back together? Like they haven’t come up with anything better?

Speaking of which, tetanus shots, once the domain of screeching elephantine needles stuck into your ass for fifteen minutes while you howled and shat yourself, are no more. Now you barely feel the shot at all, which is good news for those of you wanting to walk barefoot at a construction site.

Two hours and I was out of there, barely enough time to put “BETWIXT” on a Triple Word Score. I got seven stitches from a nurse named Amy Adams, which was cool, because Tessa and I rented “Doubt” the night before. And my amazing wife spent Mother’s Day evening cleaning up a bloodied kitchen, and talking our daughter down from Hyperventilating Crazyville.

*sigh*

Oh, but that metal sheet? It’ll be framed into that door, you can fucking bet on it.

0 thoughts on “have we got him his diptets, honey

  1. Mom

    Ian, when you were born, my next door neighbor, a devout astrologer told me, in hushed warning: “A Gemini child is a mixed blessing!”
    I have to say, for 40 years it has never been boring.

    Reply
  2. Anne

    Quite a saga. Poor Lucy… Hope she is reassured now that Daddo is home and apparently fine.
    Wish I could watch your smackdown with the metal sheet…. ;-)

    Reply
  3. LFMD

    I am not a fan of blood, either, and I had to read this entry in pieces. . . read a few sentences, look away. . . read some more. . . walk out of the room. When I read your Facebook post this morning, I JUST KNEW you had hurt yourself doing one of your gift projects. Please get well soon and stay safe.
    I agree with your Mom. Helen is a Gemini, and I can still remember the month when she was in pre-school, and I got two calls from preschool (one the first week of the month and the second at the end of the month) that Helen was in the emergency room and we needed to get there right away. Playground mishaps, spurting blood, stitches.

    Reply
  4. Neva

    So glad you’re okay. Sounds scary. They do have dermabond now (glue for stitches) but your cut sounds like it wasn’t ideal for that. To me that’s even creepier though – sticking your skin together with some chemical.
    Sorry to be a big public health geek but let this be a reminder to you all to get your tetanus booster at your next doctor’s visit. Don’t wait for the ER trip. If it’s been more than 5 years it’s time for another especially if you have little kids around you.
    The newest booster also has pertussis added to it and it will protect you (and most importantly protect the little infants in your lives) from whooping cough. There’s today’s PSA.
    Hope you got some good pain meds Ian!

    Reply
  5. Salem's Little Sister

    I hope you on the mend. Poor Lucy! I had steroid injections in my knee for a running injury and the lidocane they gave me made me have an out of body experience. I was the EggMan, coo coo kachoo. And it was all in front of my 4 year old. Thankfully, the nurses gave Ben some crayons and spent the 20 minutes it took to get me off of the ceiling, writing “Doctor’s notes” on his paper. He took my vitals too. So, apparently you can be allergic to lidocane.
    P.S. OPRAH spoke at James’ dook MBA graduation yesterday and the only thing better than that was having my picture made flipping off the retired dook jerseys in Camreron on Saturday!
    P.P.S Now Dot, she’s a real tiger, I mean T-I-G-E-R.

    Reply
  6. kate

    I got a tetanus shot a couple weeks ago and while it didn’t hurt initially, that part of my arm was terribly sore and swollen for days. I never had that kind of reaction to the old shot. But eh, what can you do?
    SLS mentioned Dook’s graduation…. I [finally] graduated from UNC yesterday after taking a semester here and there off to save money, etc. My brother and sister flew in from NYC and Chicago to surprise me. My Mom got the only Mother’s Day gift that she’s wanted for the past couple years. And I sat right behind Tyler, Danny, Marcus, Bobby, etc. So it was a pretty great Mother’s Day weekend in Chapel Hill.
    http://i40.tinypic.com/15po94x.jpg
    Glad you’re okay. I’m no fan of blood either, so I probably would have been Lucy in that situation.

    Reply
  7. Joanna

    I am glad you are fine, Ian!
    I spent last Sunday night in the ER, after my three-year-old fell down brick steps and needed stitches in her forehead. From your report, the UNC ER is much more of a nightmare than yours. We waited six hours, until 1:00am. The waiting room was a scene itself. One woman was loudly singing Frere Jacques, another was threatening to show her ass if she had to wait any longer and we were sharing an armrest with a Latino family that kept saying “vomito!”

    Reply
  8. Rebecca

    Wow. I knew it was project related. I’m glad you’re okay; mentioning the ambulance had me nervous for you! Thanks so much for posting this, I fully expected to come here this morning and have a code word or Friday’s entry. You’re so dedicated to us!
    On another note, today’s the day Roy and the Boys go to meet President Obama at the White House!!! I can’t wait to see the photos.

    Reply
  9. jje

    Count me in as being glad you’re okay. Hope Lucy is feeling better about it as well, poor girl.
    Surprisingly, we’ve had great experiences with the children’s ER here in Charlotte. First time was the night before Graham was born – Connor swallowed a dime “just because.” Sigh… They took us right back but gave us the news that “this too shall pass.” Second time, I fell down the stairs holding Graham (he was 3 months) and he fractured his skull and had some brain bleeding. Again, they brought us back right away and took great care of him. Had to spend the weekend in PICU to keep an eye on him, but thankfully, he didn’t need any surgery. Worst weekend of my life, though. Very scary. :-(
    Rebecca – My mom told me yesterday that my BIL was getting to go with the team to meet the Prez. I’m sure it will be in the book he’s writing for this year’s championship, but I can’t wait to read the article he’s sure to have posted tomorrow on THM.

    Reply
  10. Rebecca

    Ian and Tessa: I had coffee with Christy Ward from the UNC development office today and she says hello! We were discussing UNC people we know and I mentioned that I interact on this blog with some Carolina people, and she said she’s met you guys before. Then I had to explain that we really don’t know each other at all, and you probably think I’m a total lunatic, but that I enjoy our little community here. So if she calls you for coffee and to update you on Carolina, it’s my fault.
    The most surprising thing I learned was that although she and I are both class of 92 and so it GFWD, she doesn’t know him. She the first person from our class that I’ve ever met that doesn’t know Greg!

    Reply
  11. emma

    Rebecca – I really can’t believe that someone from class of 1992 does not know GFWD.
    Kate – Congratulations! What a great photo. Are you a journalism major by chance? If so and you went to your dept grad – I saw you cross the stage.
    Pray you don’t cut yourself, Mordecai.

    Reply
  12. Kelly

    Gack! Ian, reading your account made me recoil. I can just imagine poor Lucy’s take on it all; I hope the reassurances have washed it all away, out of her brain.
    Feel better soon! +1 for the magnetic paint, it dries surprisingly streak free.

    Reply

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